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So, my name is Eric Gershwin.
I'm professor of medicine at UC Davis,
and I've been studying autoimmunity,
especially autoimmunity involving both the liver
and the bile ducts for almost my entire professional life.
And what I'd like to do in the next 45 minutes or so,
are to talk specifically about autoimmune diseases of the liver,
particularly what PBC is,
which is an autoimmune disease,
which affects a female population,
and destroys the small bile ducts.
And so, I'll start by basically exploring issues that I
know and issues that I hope to know about what PBC is.
I think it's important to start off with the premise that
the prognosis and the outlook for patients with PBC is getting better.
And I mentioned that because if we go back to the old books of the 1970s,
even the 1980s, the prognosis seemed awful,
and for a large number of reasons,
some of which we'll discuss it is certainly the case that the outlook is getting better.
But, it isn't disappearing and if anything and I'll show you some epidemiology,
the incidence is actually increasing as perhaps it is with all of
autoimmunity and all of the more than a 100 different types of autoimmune diseases.
So, let's talk about the epidemiology.
As you could imagine,
almost all the data is coming from the Western world and there's
an enormous range on the incidence and the prevalence of PBC.